Inspiration... I don't write under a command... or imposition... I don't force writing.
I grab a cup of tea.
I don't think I really have much of a creative process. A lot of what I write just comes out without really thinking about it. I'll just put my fingers on my keyboard and let everything just flow out. Sometimes I'll lay in bed playing out scenes in my head, but I won't force myself to get up again just to write down ideas.
I'm usually thinking much of the time. I revisit, rethink, and so by the time I sit down to write I know what I want to write - it's a matter of getting the vision down.
I have in my writing room things on the wall on my displayed on my desk that give me inspiration. I have photos I've taken, images I've found in magazines, on websites that I find to be full of depth, mystery and song. On my desk I have items that I find particularly beautiful in some way, like a candle, a miniature statue, things I've made, been given. I like to be surrounded by these things before I begin to put my fingers to the keys.
Baths and walks are the best inspiration. I dream the story before writing.
My creative process starts in the middle of the story I am writing at the time. I start to weave in small story lines that can take place in the story's direct predecessor or others in the same world. It's a frantic process of scribbling ideas and plot lines donw that is frustrating but I love it. Most look at me weird because I am talking outloud as my character's in public. I also have a really great friend who, I think, enjoys telling me things are stupid but is much more excited when I provide her with shock value.
Before I sit down to write I turn off the TV, make sure no one is home, or at least no one around who is desperate enough to talk to me before writing and turn on the music.
Stories start with a character trait, a plot line, a random idea about something that stops me in my tracks. I write notes for a long time before I write an outline. When I have a block of time I sit down and tease out characters.
The characters form before the plot.
Blogs start with thoughts about things that happen in my life, current news events and a desire to jot down ideas in a public place for public inspiration.
Professional copywriting and journalism - strict deadlines. Writing is the last thing. Research is everything.
For me writing is like an addiction so I don't know that I really have any particular ritual. I do require mass amounts of coffee though, this is vital to the process for me.
Panic! I like to view what's going to happen in my head. Once I put pen to paper I start worrying about punctuation, repetitions etc and it interrupts my creative flow.
I don't believe I ever stop creating. It seems like everything I look at or hear or sense becomes the catalyst for a new story waiting to be told. When I sit down to write, I simply choose what story interests me at that moment, open my file, and read a few paragraphs. That puts me back into the story immediately. Since I always have multiple stories in the works, there is always something to suit whatever intrigues me that day!
I get inspiration from clients, other writers and general media
I never force myself to write. It's either there or it isn't. My view is that if you try to force creativity, you render the creative process impotent. I never worry about writing. Worry is the thief of thought.
It varies. I have a mini notebook and at least one pen (I'm not a fan of pencils other than to sketch/cartoon with - that's another life) in every dog-walking jacket I have and either get ideas from my surroundings (which I later type up) or inspiration from the music or podcasts (all-writing related) that I listen to on my iPod. For my chick-lit NaNo last year I'd only decided a day or two before 1st Nov what I was going to write and just let it all flood out - which paid off as I completed 117,540 words in the 30 days, and it's now (four edits later) doing the agent hunt.
I don't have my own creative process. Inspiration comes suddenly. Like you sleep and you have a dream that you wanna write about. Immediately I wake up, grab a piece of paper or mobile and write everything I wanna write about.
What happens before I sit down to writing? I think twice what should happen next with a cup of tea, cappuccino or carrot juice.